Friday, September 22, 2006

Pick of the last few days: congress, profiteering, heritage, and public records

There are a couple new resources for monitoring what's happening with Congress these days:
Majority Watch has links to Congressional races up for grabs, including the one I will vote in (NC 11th), where a Republican incumbent with questionable business dealings is challenged by a failed NFL quarterback. The race details include demographics and polling results.
And then there's Beyond Delay, a study of the '20 most corrupt members of Congress (and five to watch)' from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. Interestingly, this list includes 'my' congressman, see above. (Florida's Tom Feeney and Katherine Harris are also on the list.)
Also, Derek notes the political blog on the NY Times site: The Caucus. New perspectives on some Congressional races here.

On Iraq, there's Pressure mounts for contracting accountability, report from Facing South with links to reports, especially:
War Profiteers: Profits Over Patriotism in Iraq (pdf) from Campaign for America's Future.
Also: Been seeing lots of links to a video from VoteVets that claims George Allen and other Republicans voted to keep soldiers deprived of good body armor. Turns out the claims in the video are false, according to this report from, who say "Both sides have misled the public about this issue".

Are you of British heritage? Think that means your ancestors were Anglo Saxon, from Germany? Most Brits have Celtic ancestry, according to this report in the Scotsman, from an Oxford study. And, of course, that means your ancestors probably came -- from Spain. (Or, we're all Irish in the end.)

In public records news, Mark Schaver at Depth Reporting links to a site called RecordsSiteReviews that claims to tell you which sources for public records are best. There are also instruction sheets on using public records. The concept is interesting but seems to review only a few commercial sites, which make me wonder if they're all part of a marketing campaign.
Also via Schaver, link to Public Records and Investigations blog, with some interesting guides and links. (Note the blog postings look blank in Firefox but if you highlight the blank spaces the words appear. See the previous postings links in side column for the headlines.) One interesting link here, in the 'Is your boyfriend married?' post: Vital Records Links, with birth, death and marriage links. Pretty good list, but it doesn't include at least one I know of, Miami Dade county marriages, which went online in past year.

For more public records blogging, of course don't miss PI Buzz, which I linked in the last year, and which reminds us today that if you don't have a library card, you're missing out on access to some great databases and online reference help.


  • Thanks for your kind mention of my site. I looked at the other Web links you mention. One claims to review public records resources. Sadly, these types of sites seem to exist only to sell a questionable product. I didn't see any reviews here. I find the whole notion of a site that provides "unbiased reviews of the top public record sites" merely a hook with no bait. Exactly what is the alternative to a government records site if we aren't satisfied with what we find there?

    There is a reason why serious Internet researchers return to the same handful of privately run public records info sites, such as Infomaniac. Few reliable ones exist.

    By Anonymous Tamara Thompson Investigations, at 2:45 AM  

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